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‘We’ll double cargo capacity’ says Heathow report

[ May 13, 2014   //   ]

Heathrow airport promised to double its existing cargo capacity as part of its plans to expand the UK’s largest airport published on 13 May, and due to be submitted to the Government’s Airports Commission on 14 May. As part of a scheme to create “a world-class global gateway to make Britain proud”, it also said it would add 40 new direct, daily routes to fast growing economies such as San José, Wuhan and Kolkata.

The Airports Commission is considering a number of competing schemes to increase airport capacity in south-east England, including new runways for Heathrow or Gatwick, or an entirely new airport on an island in the Thames Estuary. However, none of the schemes are expected to get underway until after the next election.

Heathrow’s plans for a third runway have proved to be a political hot potato. However, the airport pledged “to go further than any other large-scale UK infrastructure project in compensating for its impact on surrounding communities.” It added that its expansion plan would create over 100,000 new jobs created in the Heathrow area and further afield.

The Freight Transport Association welcomed the announcement for the extra cargo capacity, describing it as “good news for freight”.

FTA recently commissioned the Sky High Value report which detailed the importance of air freight to the UK economy and why continued investment in airport capacity is essential for UK importers and exporters.
FTA’s director of Global and European Policy, Chris Welsh, said: “The plans outlined by Heathrow today are very much welcomed by FTA and echo the findings in our own recent report.   We have previously stated that it is imperative that the UK has a single air freight hub, and that Heathrow fulfils that role.  It is an essential hub of connectivity for passengers and freight, bringing together huge resource, expertise and opportunity in one place.”
He added: “Heathrow is the UK’s main airport hub, but is currently operating at 98% capacity and needs to be able to expand to meet the needs of industry.  It is a critical hub for air cargo, offering 191 destinations; it moves 1.5 million tonnes of freight and is vital for UK connectivity to its main overseas markets.”

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